The star of Giannis Antetokounmpo shines brighter with every passing week. The young forward made Milwaukee Bucks history last night when he recorded his fourth triple-double of the campaign in the defeat of the struggling Brooklyn Nets 109-100.
The 21-year-old has been in phenomenal form over the last eleven games ever since coach Jason Kidd made him the team's point of attack.
Running the offence through Antetokounmpo has produced four stat-stuffing nights in his last eleven outings when he hadn't recorded a triple-double in his 212 NBA games before that.
Article continues below
The latest clinic courtesy of 'The Greek Freak' produced 28 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks in 41 minutes of action. At 6'11" and 222lbs, the stunning athleticism of the big man is quite a sight to behold in its own right, let alone the impressive production it now spawns.
The Athens-born star and brother of New York Knicks forward, Thanasis, has earned widespread acclaim for his recent performances, not least because of his tender age.
Article continues below
Bucks teammate Greg Monroe - who himself has endured a tough time since moving from the Detroit Pistons last summer in free agency - was full of praise for his frontcourt partner.
“At this point, when you see [Giannis] every day, nothing he does surprises me,” Monroe said. “He is physically gifted, and that’s a play maybe one or two other people in the league can make. This is how good of a young player he is. Only a couple of people in the world can probably make that play.”
The play Monroe is referring to saw Antetokounmpo leave Shane Larkin asking what day of the week it was with a beautifully disguised fake pass before marauding towards the basket and delivering a one-handed jam, with an exclamation point.
But that's not the Greek's only source of praise. Kidd has also been speaking about the 15th pick in the 2013 draft's development and couldn't hide his delight following his show-stealing performance at the Barclays Center.
“I think [Giannis] has been off the charts,” Kidd said. “His growth, his understanding at [the primary ball handler] position, he’s run with it.
“We spent a lot of time [practicing] it and he’s asked a lot of questions about the position. He’s up for it. He wants to be a leader. He wants to be the best. What he’s done stat-wise since he’s taken over that position is off the charts.”
Considering Kidd recorded 107 triple-doubles throughout his sure-fire hall of fame career, Antetokounmpo seems well placed to carry on flourishing.
If he can carry on at his current trajectory, something tells us that the Bucks' prodigy will earn a great deal of cash when his rookie deal comes to an end in 2017.